Lord Howe Island
polar bear


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What all island ecosystems have in common is that they are isolated from the mainland, and they create special, even unique, environments with species of animals and plants that may be very different from their counterparts on the mainland. In fact, some species are only found on islands because they developed separately, like the kiwi of New Zealand and the Galàpagos tortoise of the Galàpagos Islands. Because they are limited in size and resources, island ecosystems are fragile and easily disturbed by introduced species and human activity. Island animals can quickly become endangered if their habitat is destroyed or what they eat disappears, because they have nowhere else to go.